Eric Cheng

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Hardware failure (and why I'm glad I'm prepared)

I've seen three disks fail here on the ship in the past two days; it's terrifying to think about computer failure during such a long time out at sea. About 15 minutes ago, I had a drive failure scare. My Mac froze suddenly while I was working in Aperture, and I had to force a hard reboot. When it started up again, I got the dreaded flashing question mark folder, and no amount of restarting the machine allowed for a successful boot. Luckily, I travel with DiskWarrior 4 on a USB stick[^1], and it managed to rebuild the volume successfully. I was *so* relieved.

[^1]: I don't have an optical drive in my notebook anymore, so I transferred my copy of DiskWarrior onto a USB flash drive.

What if I hadn't had a copy of DiskWarrior handy? I might have been seriously screwed.

In my computer bag, I travel with the following things:

1. DiskWarrior on USB flash drive 2. Mac OS 10.5 Leopard installer on USB flash drive 3. Full, bootable backup on external drive (encrypted) 4. Useful software installers on an external drive 5. Numerous external drives 6. Numerous USB flash drives

If you are a frequent traveler and don't travel with DiskWarrior, an operating system installer disc, and an external drive to which you backup frequently, you are asking for trouble!